England’s upcoming Test against France to be played without scrums – IRL

England’s Test match against France in Perpignan on Saturday week will be played without scrums, the International Rugby League (IRL) has ruled.

Tuesday, 12th October 2021, 1:35 pm
Updated Tuesday, 12th October 2021, 1:36 pm
England’s Test match against France in Perpignan on Saturday week will be played without scrums. Picture: SWPix

Scrums were scrapped when Super League was restarted in August 2020 in order to reduce the number of close contacts during matches at the height of the coronavirus pandemic.

They remained absent when the 2021 season began in March and the ruling was extended by the Rugby Football League (RFL) to matches in the Championship and League 1.

It was intended to bring scrums back before the end of the season, particularly in time for the 2021 World Cup with the NRL still using scrums, but it was decided in August to continue without them in the English domestic competitions due to lingering safety concerns.

It has now been decided to play without scrums for the Test match in Perpignan, which was arranged following the postponement of the World Cup by 12 months.

A statement read: “Following representation from the Rugby Football League and the Federation Francaise de Rugby a XIII (FFRXIII), the board of International Rugby League has approved a recommendation by the IRL laws advisory group to temporarily suspend scrums for the international matches between France and England to be played on October 23rd 2021.

“The request was made and supported on player welfare grounds and is consistent with the arrangements in the Super League and UK Championship competitions throughout 2021.”